Remembering the eventful life of Rahul Sankrityayan, a great scholar, who knew nearly 30 languages but almost always wrote in Hindi. Rahul Sankrityayan . by Jyotsna Kamat First Online: October 29, Page Last Updated: August 16, India is known as land of great saints. Rahul Sankrityayan (9 April – 14 April ), is called the Father of Hindi Travelogue Travel literature. He is the one who played a pivotal role to give Notable awards: Sahitya Akademi Award;.
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Most of these formed a part of the libraries of Vikramshila and Nalanda Universities.
These objects had been taken to Tibet by fleeing Buddhist monks during the twelfth and subsequent centuries when the invading Muslim armies had destroyed universities in India. Some accounts state that Rahul Sankrityayan employed twenty-two mules to bring these materials from Tibet rahul sankrityayan India.
He has a grandson named Prakhar Sankrityayan currently living in India. Patna Museum has an extensive collection of Buddhist scrolls which rahul sankrityayan assimilated through his journeys across Tibet.
Many of these are rare gems of Indian scriptures translated into Tibetan. Personal life and family[ edit ] Rahul was married when very young and never came to know anything of his child-wife, Santoshi.
Probably he saw her only once in his 40s as per his autobiography: During his stay in Soviet Russia a second time, accepting an invitation for teaching Buddhism rahul sankrityayan Leningrad University, he came in contact with a Mongolian scholar Lola Ellena Narvertovna Kozerovskaya.
She could speak French, English, and Russian and write Sanskrit. She helped him in working on Tibetan- Sanskrit dictionary.
Their attachment ended in marriage and birth of son Igor.
This polymath and polyglot lived an astonishing life. Explorer, Path Breaker, Spy: Acquiring formal education only until middle school, he left home in his teens and settled rahul sankrityayan Varanasi, where he learnt Sanskrit with a group of other students.
His life took a different turn after a chance meeting with the leader of a wealthy Hindu rahul sankrityayan order from Bihar, who took Sankrityayan under his wing.
Here he acquired extensive knowledge of Sanskrit and the major cannons of Hindu traditions. Rahul sankrityayan mahant rechristened him Swami Ramodaras and anointed him to take over the monastic order.
However, the explorer in him shunned the idea and decided to travel south to Tamil Nadu, where he not only explored all the major religious institutions but also acquired further knowledge of the Vedantic traditions and learnt Tamil. Disillusioned with all the ritualism associated with these traditions, he gave it all up and joined the Arya Samaj, a Hindu reformist order, in Once he became convinced that Buddhism was worth engaging with, Sankrityayan became a Buddhist monk and resided in Sri Lanka for several rahul sankrityayan to study Pali and ancient Buddhism.
Still dissatisfied that his study was rahul sankrityayan he rahul sankrityayan to slip into Tibet which was illegal in those days.
Internet Archive Search: creator:"Rahul Sankrityayan"
What rahul sankrityayan was an adventurous journey into the sleepy kingdom. He spent several years there, learning Tibetan and studying rare ancient Buddhist texts. These biographers identify national regeneration as the primary motor that drove Sankrityayan to seek various kinds of extant cultural resources which he perceived to be most suitable for the purpose.
Alaka Chudal, for instance, would argue that he remained a cultural nationalist all his life; further, though he remained unbound, the outer limit of his peregrinations was bound by his ardent love for everything Indian. And hence, when he became an Arya Samaji he retained some of his Vaishnava leanings, later when he became a Buddhist monk, a part of the Arya Samaji in him lived on, and finally when he embraced dialectical materialism, he interpreted it through his unique Indian lenses within which Vaishnavism, Arya Samaj and Buddhism all cast their distinct tints.
This strand of interpretation suffers from a fundamental misunderstanding of the basic motivation that animated him. He was first and foremost a rahul sankrityayan and a freethinker.
A forgotten genius
Born in India, and not being a part of the Anglophile elite, the only resources rahul sankrityayan to him to exercise his faculties upon were indigenous. But he refused to be hidebound by any of them and ruthlessly critiqued them all. These interpretations miss that fact that when he finally transitioned to dialectical materialism, Sankrityayan declared unambiguously that having examined all strands rahul sankrityayan philosophy, he had reached the conclusion that the true science for the modern era was dialectical materialism.
If he held on to certain extant ideas and cherished the local culture, it was firmly in consonance, at least to rahul sankrityayan understanding, with the tenets of dialectical materialism as he understood them—the fact that any genuinely universal idea must grip the particular. A Freethinking Cultural Nationalist.
The problem with this approach reflects in the very rahul sankrityayan of the volume: